In the most difficult of cases, a job search can take a year or more. The process is grueling and emotionally exhausting. You spend many days and lots of money perfecting your look, networking with new people, and trying to find the perfect fit.
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Once you finally find that perfect, it's easy to think that things will be smooth sailing from now on. Your went through the difficult part during the interview, right? Things should be easy now.
Unfortunately, that's not always the case. In fact, in the worst scenario, you can mess up a good thing with just a few wrong moves. When that happens, you're back to square one – wondering if you should find a new job again.
If you want to start off on the right foot, the first thing to work on is how your coworkers and your boss perceive you. Arrive at work early and stay late. Dress as if you belong at the company. In other words: Don't be too casual or too dressy. Visual cues like these can make a world of difference.
You should also take initiative and avoid office politics. Offer to help your coworkers when they need it. When they help you in return, be sure to say "Thank you" often. Avoid those who seem to dwell on the negative or talk badly about one another. Be humble. Don't attempt to stand out from the crowd (at least, not in the beginning).
Take the time to get to know your coworkers. Socialize with them outside of the office. Consider going to lunch with them or getting drinks after work. Just be sure to check your personal life at the door. There may come a time that deep personal sharing makes sense, but that's not the case when you first start.
It's also important to learn about your new company. Look up how the company was started and the key factors impacting the business today. Your boss and coworkers will have respect for the time you've taken to learn about the company.
Take the time to read the company handbook. When you start out, human resources typically gives you a book of information about the policies at work. If you don't review it, you may assume that your new company has policies similar to those of your last workplace. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. For example, some companies allow you to post your personal views publicly on social media, while others will terminate you for it.
First impressions are often based on things like how likeable you are or how much of a team player you're perceived to be. Following these straightforward guidelines will help to make sure you start off on the right foot – and cement your future success
A version of this article originally appeared on The Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.